Friday, February 16, 2018

Benefits of Baby & Toddler Yoga

I completed my Baby & Toddler Yoga Teacher training program through ChildLight Yoga in April 2017.  I was a little over 7 months pregnant, but still able to move and absorb all that was taught!

For those of you that don't know- I took my first Child Yoga Teacher Training through ChildLight Yoga in January 2016 and fell in love!  I knew this is what I wanted to do going forward- teach kids and special populations yoga! ChildLight Yoga is a Registered Yoga School through Yoga Alliance and they have a Registered Child Yoga Teacher (RCYT-95 hours) program.  In order to get the recognition of a RCYT-95, you first needed to become or have already been a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200 hours).  I completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program through Yoga NH in December 2016- almost one year from the time I wanted to become a Kids Yoga Teacher!

So long story longer- in order to be eligible for the RCYT-95 hour program, you have to complete a written exam and teach multiple community classes (with evaluations completed by attendees) for the area of the course you've taken.  I'm FINALLY teaching my Baby & Toddler Yoga community classes tomorrow! I'm so excited to teach these classes to my community and share my love of Baby and Toddler Yoga!

I wanted to share the Benefits of Baby & Toddler Yoga from the manual from ChildLight Yoga to my group tomorrow!  I figured- why not share the love and maybe get another family excited about the benefits of Baby & Toddler yoga!


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Kids & Family Yoga Playlist on Spotify

Do you use Spotify? This is the Family Yoga playlist I use in a lot of my Family and Kids Yoga (with the younger group) classes!  I don't usually play the songs back to back, but skip around depending on what is needed from my lesson plan!

If you've been to one of my classes before, I bet you'll recognize a few of these!


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Kids Yoga Props Props Props (and what a Kids & Family Yoga class may look like)!

 Different methodologies for teaching Yoga for Kids/ Behaviors you may Witness 
If you've ever attended a Toddler, Child, or Family Yoga class- you've probably noticed the difference in these classes from a regular adult yoga class. I'm a previous post, I've talked about the physical and emotional benefits of Kids Yoga. This post I'm just going to talk about what a class looks like and how fun it can be!

First there are usually two basic ways a trained Kids Yoga teacher teaches. Some are trained in the method of story telling and practicing yoga along with a story- verbally or with a book. The other way is through songs, games, and partner poses. I teach this way, so you'll hear lots of singing, music over the stereo, games, conversations, and practicing yoga with partners. 

The class is usually pretty loud.  Tantrums may happen (and that's 100% okay). Your children may refuse to participate and sit against the wall and pout (I can promise they are still listening and will probably do the whole yoga routine once you get home). They may be completely engaged and do things you may not have thought possible!  It's all okay!

Kids Yoga is all about sharing these games, songs, and poses to teach yoga, but it's also about: communication, building relationships, spending time together with friends and loved ones, and just trying something new.  I've heard from many parents after class that they felt embarrassed that their child was crying or rolling around on the floor.  Don't be!  I know it might feel strange, but we've all been there (well my baby is 8 months, so I'll be there soon).  The very young kiddos are observing and learning- so before you know it, they'll be participating just like some of the older kids!

So below is a brief description of what one of my Toddler, Kid, and Family classes may look like.  Baby yoga is a bit different.  The focus is on the baby and bonding with the caregiver.  We do gentle movements and songs that help promote development.  Teen Yoga is more like adult yoga, except we don't have to be silent.  We practice at a faster pace learning more vinyasa flow poses, but we allow and encourage conversation.  We may discuss issues facing teenagers like body image, self-esteem, patience, communication, nutrition, and stress management.

A brief description of Toddler, Kid, and Family Yoga class by Lauren Young Yoga.

The first thing you will do is take off your shoes (we don't want anyone getting kicked with a sneaker) and if the floor is slippery- maybe your socks too.  When entering my class, you'll probably hear the latest KIDZ BOP album playing if the age group is elementary age.  If I'm teaching Toddler you'll hear more little kid friendly tunes.  The teacher should be very flexible- a lot of the time, especially in Family Yoga, we aren't sure of the age range until the kiddos are right in front of us.
You may walk in and see yoga blocks and bolsters all over the floor to allow the kiddos to have some free play before class.  This isn't possible unless of course you are attending a class in a Yoga Studio.  Otherwise they'll have the music to dance to!

If the class is not HUGE and the space works, we'll set our mats up in a circle so we can all face each other while we practice (I started using a circular mandala tapestry to assist everyone in forming their circle- you wouldn't believe how hard it can be for kids to figure out how to make a circle with their mat). 

We settle onto our mat and usually start with centering, which is just settling into the room and on our mat.  I go over the sequence of the class (I make sure to leave out super exciting things like the parachute so the kids can enjoy the class instead of waiting for the parachute to come out).  I typically go over behavior expectations and let the parents know it's okay if the child won't participate or if the child isn't doing the pose perfectly. The goal is to have fun and bond!



Next we move onto the breath.  In Kids Yoga there are all kinds of fun regulated breathing techniques that are taught!  Some that I can think of right now are: elevator breath, lions breath, balloon breath, hot chocolate breath, alternate nostril breathing.  We also do things like blow pom poms around, blow pinwheels and use props like scarves to watch it dance from our breath.  Check out photos of some of the props we use for breathing and a live action photo of students using balloon breath with the sphere and pom pom breathing races (everyone wins too)!
 



Warming up our body is next.  We usually will do gentle warm ups by using a song or soft music.  A great Warm Up is a Sun Salutation, which we also do in adult yoga class.  There is a really fun song by Kira Willey called Dance For the Sun, that helps the littles enjoy this exercise by using lyrics like "Reach up high- wave to the sun (upward salute).  Hang down low- tickle your toes (forward fold). "  I posted the video at the end of this post!  The rest of her songs are so great as well!

Next is different poses.  A great way to teach them is to use a visual yoga card deck.  I love the kind from Yoga Ed. called, Yoga Pretzels.  After we learn some poses we usually put them to use in a game (a fan favorite is musical mats) and then some partner poses!  We end with a short "relaxation" using magic mist (a blend of lavender essential oil and water) to spray over everyone.  We listen to a short visualization or a kid friendly song to help us relax. 










Lastly I ring the bell for us all to come together and say goodbye.  We bring our hands together in peace hands at our heart, take a deep breath in and let it out, then we say the "Namaste" which means a few different things.  It could mean: Hello, Goodbye, Thank you, You're welcome, and the good in me recognizes the good in you- or the light in me, recognizes the light in you. 

Thank you for reading!  Please reach out for any questions!  Namaste.





Friday, February 2, 2018

Reflecting Back- Part 1- Vulnerable

Having a baby for the first time really changes things in all areas of your life.  

If you didn't read in the "about me" section on my blog... starting a family was a challenge for my husband and I.  Our first pregnancy was in 2015, about a 1 1/2 years after getting married and trying to get pregnant.  We lost that pregnancy at 11 weeks gestation.  My world fell apart on that day, October 27, 2015.  I was teaching Special Education in an elementary school in New Hampshire.  I went to the OBGYN's office in the early morning before school started (after some abnormalities the day before).  

I was in the office.  By myself.  I thought I was just going to run in, they would tell me everything was fine, and I'd be on my way to start the school day.  Instead I was by myself.  They told me there was no heartbeat and I lost our first pregnancy that we've been trying 1 1/2 years for.  I called the school and all I could get out through my hysterical crying was, "At the OBGYN office."  The secretary understood what I meant and said she'd take care of everything.  I still think of how amazing she was during that phone call. I called my husband and parents on the way home.  My parents came straight to my house and sat and cried with me.  This was the beginning of my new life. 

I ended up resigning from my teaching position.  I wasn't fully available to my students, and having them in the special education program- they really needed someone to be 100% there for them.


I also wasn't in the most supportive environment, so I felt more stress than comfort and relief from being in my work place.  I slowly began to focus on myself and put myself back together.  I started counseling for my loss.  I started practicing yoga again.  My husband was an amazing support and allowed me to take this time that I needed, even if we did have to cut down on a lot of financial expenses.  

It was this time when I started questioning if teaching in the public classroom was right for me.  My heart has always been with teaching social behaviors, social emotional learning (SEL), individualized coping skills, confidence, cooperation, communication- not math, science, and social studies (I did love to teach reading though- if only elementary teachers could teach only reading and SEL).  A friend of mine is a Director of a Child Care Center/Private School  and posted on Facebook that she attended a Child Yoga Teacher Training program.  A WHAT?!  This is a thing? I can teach Children Yoga?!  I already received newsletters from Yoga Ed. on different breathing and chair yoga techniques to use in the classroom and would use it when I taught special education.  Finally, I felt that spark that I was missing since my loss.  

I immediately registered for the Basic Child Yoga Teacher course (children 2-12) through ChildLight Yoga in Dover, NH.  My first class was Friday night from 5-9 pm and my head was spinning with ideas by the end of it.  After two more full days of training, I knew this is what I was supposed to do with my life.  I was hooked!  



I began offering free classes at my local library to get a feel for teaching and also to earn my certification to teach Children ages 2-12 yoga.  

From there I taught local friend's children and soon found myself employed at the local YMCA teaching two Kids Yoga classes! 
                    

I got a job at my local library as a Library Aide while I continued my education as a Child Yoga Teacher.  After researching the whole Yoga Teacher Credential World (Yoga Alliance), I learned that you can become a Registered Child Yoga Teacher (RCYT-95 hours).  I wanted this! I'm a sucker for credentials and if I was going to start a new life and career- I wanted it to be legit with the correct courses and credentials.  So this was my goal!  I soon found out that in order to get the RCYT-95, you first had to become a Registered Yoga Teacher- 200 hours, which is an adult yoga teacher program.  Boo!  That foils my plan.  Okay fine... let me look into that and see if it's something I want to pursue. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 to see what I decide and where I go from there.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Lauren Young Yoga's Winter Schedule!

 This winter you will find me teaching yoga for Adults, Kids, Toddlers, and Families!  Please see "Schedule of Classes and Contact" tab for address and registration information for the classes listed below. 

I'm available in between these classes (and taking care of my now 7 month old son) for private sessions, birthday parties, or to teach Yoga Classes to your school, girl scout troop, boy scout troop, or sports team!  Contact me at laurenyoungyoga@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Where has Lauren been lately (and new schedule)?

On June 12, 2017 something amazing and life changing happened!  I gave birth to my first child!  His name is Benjamin and was a big 9 lbs 7 oz and 22 1/2 inches long!  This being my first child, I thought I would have no problem to returning back to teach Yoga shortly after he was born.  Boy was I wrong!  My body was not quite the same after carrying him, having a c- section, and carrying around a big baby!



I taught my first Family Yoga Class at the Farmers Market in Nashua, NH in September.  Shortly after that was my first official Family Yoga class since leaving for maternity leave.  I took some time off to focus on my own mind and body and have been attending Mommy & Me yoga with Benjamin!  We are both feeling great and ready to start teaching again!

Below you will find my October schedule along with a Flyer to a Kids Yoga series that I will be teaching in Pelham, NH starting 11/8/17!  I will be returning to the Nashua YMCA to teach Family Yoga in January!  I'll also be assisting them with programing for an Adult program for individuals with Autism and assist in teaching some of those classes!  I'm so excited to get back into the swing of things again. Always reach out to me with any questions!



Lauren Young Yoga's Bio


Want to learn more about what brought me to practice Yoga?  How about my past experience that helped shape me into a great Kids and Family Yoga teacher?  Check out this image!